March 31, 2014 / 6:07 PM / 6 years ago

White House: No new information to offer on convicted Israeli spy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Monday it had no new information to provide on the situation of Jonathan Pollard after sources close to negotiations aimed at salvaging Middle East peace talks said the convicted Israel spy and groups of Palestinian prisoners could be released in a deal under consideration.

“He is a person who is convicted of espionage and is serving his sentence, and I don’t have any update on his situation,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters when asked whether Pollard’s release was something that could be offered as an incentive to Israel.

The sources, who spoke as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry prepared to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders in the region, said under the proposed arrangement that Pollard, a former U.S. Navy analyst caught spying for Israel in the 1980s, could be released by mid-April.

In addition, Israel would go ahead with a promised release of a fourth group of Palestinians, among the 104 it pledged to free in a deal that led to the renewal of peace talks last July. Another group of jailed Palestinians would also go free and the peace talks would be extended beyond an April 29 deadline, the sources said.

Reporting By Matt Spetalnick, Roberta Rampton and Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli

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